Two weeks ago, the Marine Corps general in charge of U.S. military aid efforts for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, asked the Pentagon to urgently send a number of amphibious warships to the Philippines.
The USS George Washington was the first to arrive, and two amphibious ships arrive there Wednesday, Navy officials say. The USS Ashland and the USS Germantown can get closer to the storm-ravaged areas than the massive aircraft carrier, and they have a variety of helicopters, small boats, trucks, equipment to produce potable water and other supplies needed in the relief effort.
The two ships picked up 900 Marines in Okinawa to aid in the relief efforts.
A third ship, the USS Freedom, is also carrying supplies from Singapore, the Navy said.